Bunkers 'R' Not Us: Correcting Boston Magazine’s Take on This Movement

The End is Near, Inc.

This is the title of the recent full-spread article in Boston Magazine about me, my work, and our community. It’s due out in hard print on Sunday with the Boston Globe. It is already available online here.

Unfortunately, the article relies too much on sensationalistic stereotypes and includes some troubling distortions.  My chief concern is that the story, told through a very few limited, out-of-context, and edited quotes, paints a picture of Becca and me as doomsayers with a bunker mentality.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

We somewhat reluctantly agreed to have our whole family included in this very public article, opened our home for several days for the effort, and are now wrestling with the impacts that will stem from the fact that our best efforts have now been tagged as “The End is Near, Inc.” - an unfortunate mischaracterization that completely misses what we are really about while implying that we do this for the money. 

And though the editor has agreed to remove it in the online edition, the print edition contains a 100% Photoshopped creation of me in a bunker, instead of the actual photo that was taken of me in my (completely normal, albeit messy) home office.  We did not have a chance to review the content or the images prior to publication, which will never happen again.

Look at what they did with a gray screen shot (before, then after) without ever indicating that they'd do such a thing, let alone seeking my permission:

Yikes.  To be completely clear:  I do not have a bunker, do not know anybody who does, have never advocated that anybody build one, and utterly distance myself from the cultural stereotyping that is implied by the idea of a bunker and all associated imagery.

I can say that I’m disappointed, but I can’t say I’m terribly surprised. The article’s publication has been an important learning experience—it’s reminded me how difficult this story is to tell to the average person.  It’s a challenge to get most people to understand that while change is inevitable, it’s only bad if we fail to adapt on time and on our own terms.

The irony here is that Boston Magazine intended this to be a positive piece on the impact of my message and the large audience that it has resonated with to date.  But in relying on easy “survivalist” stereotypes to frame the story (bunkers, Mad Max references, etc), they’ve succeed in missing the forest for the trees, conveying an image in polar opposition to what we actually stand for.

The work here has been so successful because I strive at every turn to leave my opinions and beliefs out of it, which helpfully clarifies the picture for people.  In allowing belief-based slants about preparation to color this article, Boston Magazine has missed out on the fact that what people really want and need right now is truth and the facts. 

People are worried these days and have legitimate reasons to be.  We need to meet that concern directly and honestly while offering helpful information and guidance for building a positive future.

The most unfortunate thing about this is that Boston Magazine missed out on a really big story.  The movement that’s building around this material is not a fringe thing.  There are millions of people - from across the socioeconomic spectrum - thinking about this and changing their lives because of it.

My goal through this work is not to guide people to build bunkers and isolate themselves, but to invest in their communities, strengthen their resilience, and create a world worth inheriting.  Along the way there are indeed some necessary, steps that I think everybody should undertake as individuals, but only as an insufficient set of first actions along a continuum that moves us from being relatively isolated into connected, resilient communities.  I made this abundantly clear.

I am not a part of a group "devoted to spreading the preparedness doctrine," but a card-carrying member of a movement that seeks to build a national narrative that makes sense and that is sustainable.  We understand that awareness precedes understanding and that both must come before actions.  So, yes, we seek to raise awareness as a first step.  After all, somebody has to.

If you want to help us in changing the tired story that the mainstream media repeatedly chooses to tell about this message, then I’d encourage you to read the article and comment or write to the editor to tell them what this movement is really about.  If you do take the time to send along your thoughts, I would ask that you make them as factual, calm, and collected as possible. 

Chris Martenson


Mailing Address

Boston Magazine
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617-262-9700; fax 617-262-4925; editorial fax 617-267-1774

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://peakprosperity.com/bunkers-r-not-us-correcting-boston-magazines-take-on-this-movement-2/

Here’s a comment left at the Boston Magazine site by someone (i’m not sure who) that picked up on the attempt to shape impressions:

I'm really surprised by the tone of this article. I know Chris Martenson personally, and I can say that he is a stand up guy, a refreshingly smart, sensible visionary whose wisdom about creating a new economy based on self-sufficiency & community strength is right on--making a lot of the stat quo talk in gov't and beyond sound as if people aren't paying attention, or really thinking clearly. The article's use of certain language--"faith", "doctrine," "fellowship," "preached,"--seems to suggest that Chris has brainwashed his followers in some cult-styled, money-making scheme. Ridiculous!

And pretty offensive to those of us who know Chris well. And describing the brilliant Alejandro as being “under the spell” diminishes and distorts what Chris has done, and who Alejandro is. Montague, for the record, is not a “town full of older folks who kept to themselves,” but rather one of many vibrant Western Mass communities that embrace connection and community on a lot of levels. Chris and Becca Martenson have enriched the way we think about the world. Maybe you should have listened a little more closely.

I get the feeling that for most people expecting anything other than more of the same would be considered bunker mentaility.

Congratulations, Chris…your message has been so successful that the media now has to resort to a hatchet job to discredit it.
This is some of the most irresponsible journalism I’ve seen in a long time…listing children’s names and ages, implying buried PM’s on your property, and informing everyone that you have all of your guns locked up and would be unable to use them for home defense…

This one-sided article lacks objectivity and is entirely slanted…I would expect better journalism from a Boston paper…

Geee. A media outlet ignoring the facts, wrenching out of context, distorting the truth, and engaging in smear tactics. What a surprise. Whooda thunk that?

No wonder this country’s screwed. I’m headin’ for my bunker.Wink

I have to believe that after reading the article, people looking for your message will find it. Those that are not ready won’t. Two seconds on your site will immediately negate any misconceptions. Publicity is publicity.
One of the greatest truths I have gotten from your site is that the more people who prepare for these changes, the better we will thrive on the other side.

Thanks for taking the hit for the betterment of mankind. 

FWIW, even though I fully understand your horror at the bunker photoshop and would feel equally pissed, it is more of an eye catcher than just a nice looking guy in a red tie. It may be just the ticket to draw that one person to CM who becomes the tipping point.

If it were me I would file a complaint against the writer and feature editor with the editor of the Boston Globe, with copies to the Presidents of the Connecticut and Massachusetts Chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists.


Whether the “treatment” they gave the article was consistent with accuracy is debateable (from their perspective anyway) but to photoshop and deliberately and wilfully distort reality clearly contravenes the Society’s code to “Never distort the content of news photos or video.”

The way to avoid this issue is to be the writer yourself commenting on our society should you wish, or have the time, to move to this level of visibility.

The author’s first name is Pagan?!?!  Is that for real?
I love how she ended it with an implication that Martenson readers are paranoid militia types.  Good grief…

I hope this terrible experience you’ve had with the typical MSM mentality does not affect your message or criticism of those at the helm of our wayward ship, the USS Bozo. I do have to say though that the photoshopped picture of you in a bunker is hilarious. I’m not going to waste time reading the article, but it sounds like they made a mockery of you. They should run a follow-up article to publicly apologize.

Dr. M,
I’m sure you are used to this kind of crap by now, but it infuriates me that you were portrayed in this way. To be brutally honest, had that article been my introduction to you and your work, I would have never visited your site. And what pisses me off the most is that any one of us would have been thrilled to have the personal one-on-one time that this hack got with you. What a waste.

I’m sorry that this post was far from constructive, but I just can’t help myself at this point.

All the best to you and your family…Jeff

Too funny! I like the bunker rendition, Chris… and come on - the grey screen shot included a chicken. Did they 'shop that it, too?
Roll with it, man - and register that domain name they gave you, if you can!

You earned others respect and built a community without their permission or vetting; they don’t like it when someone builds influence/respect without going through them.

They are increasingly losing their status as the gatekeepers on [mis|dis]information dissemination to the public.  And they know it.  They are dying the death of 1,000 cuts.

Instead they talk about how bloggers should be regulated like they are.  Fail.  They should be arguing to be unregulated like bloggers.  Cue the Internet Freedom Act.

Translation: You’re doing it right.  Take heart.  Given the quality of community you have built here, most (if not all) see right through mainstream media’s refusal to break through the 12 years of the Skinner box, er, I mean public education. Cool

You won my support.  And I’m not easily won over.



Unfortunately, this is sort of what I was expecting when the call came out to participate.   The Globe is owned by the NYT’s, which is one of the major media outlets of the organization that shall not be named.  Maybe this will open some more peoples eyes on THIS SITE to the truth.  In other words, maybe some good will come out of it…you and your family deserve it.

Interesting MSM spin-
The US spends 12 TRILLION dollars on gas/oil (we all hear that sucking sound of money leaving our pockets) and now because of our addiiction to it - some gulf state’s coasts are environmental disasters. . . and they make Chris out to be a doomer?

If it wasn’t so idiotic it would be Laughable.


I’m terribly sorry that you and Becca were presented that way. I will certainly write a letter in to try to counter their presentation.

Best regards to you and your family.





Reprehensible.  Irresponsible.  Unethical.  
Now that I’ve given my opinion of BP, I’ll say that this is disappointing and I’d be mad as hell if I was you (or Becca/kids).  And as you imply, I’d be forewarned/forearmed the next time somebody called wanting to do a big interview.  And there will be more interviews, as your message will continue IMO to catch fire as the bowling ball continues to crash down the figurative steps.

(Off to comment on B-Mag’s website…)

Viva anyway – Sager

Chris you have to join forces with people of zeitgeist and Laitman. You’re very good showing the problem but dont have a solid solution.  The people need hope.
With them are making their zeitgeist venus project which gives them a very positive and uplifting light. http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/
Laitman works but the foundation of the problem, fix relationships, be to the benefit of itself to the benefit of todos. http://laitman.com/

Welcome to hardball politics.  You have a message that is dangerous to the debt brokers: therefore you must be ridiculed, misquoted, and trivialized.  It’s the usuall modus operandi.  Just move on and stay on message.  Don’t get sidetracked into responding or trying to set the editors straight.  They have no interest in the truth, and you will waste valuable time and resources in trying to correct the article(in which case they win because fewer people will get your message…
Sorry  (mc)Chris(tal)  I couldn’t resist the Pun.

It is very apparent that the author did NOT watch the Crash Course. Community Building, Optimistic About Our Future, and the Next 20 Years Won’t Be Like The Past 20 is NOT a bunker mentality.
Advocating that people be prepared for the future, a future that will be different is NOT a bunker mentality.

Investing in gold at 300 when is up 400% today as opposed to this and this is NOT a bunker mentality.

Fiat Currencies heading to 0

stupidity crisis

Without tossing around the moron word, I’m at a total loss of words.

The absolute irony is I got the link to the Crash Course from a billionaire who was Buffett’s original 6 figure investor and college friend. I was hesitant to click on it because it lead me to a blog, not some mainstream news media site. Then the next email on this mailing chain was from the ex-Governor of a mid-western state who gave the resource chapters of the CC high marks.

Ever since then I’ve weeded my RSS reader to 3 mainstream sites and blogs to 23.

This article is proof of why the media is failing financially. This reporter not only didn’t do his readers any service he did them an absolute disservice.

Who is the lunatic? Someone who preserved his wealth or some moron who listens to morons and thinks the morons who created this mess are telling the truth, capable of fixing or even know which end is up when the predict the future of our economy?

Reporting like this makes it even more evident why most people got their clocks cleaned in 08 and so many more will get them totally flushed in 10-11. 

George here, the guy mentioned in the article that works at the Nuke Plant…
I talked with Pagan for over 45 minutes, and find it funny that she wrote what she did:

One recent Crash Course convert, George Hults, works in the control room at the Pilgrim Nuclear Station in Plymouth. Last August, a general unease sent him roving around the Internet, where he discovered Martenson. Hults should have felt protected from economic Armageddon: When you’re the guy who stops nuclear meltdowns, you can be sure of a steady paycheck. Yet once he immersed himself in Martensonia, he began to worry. Hults would walk into a supermarket and marvel at the rotisserie chickens, trying to imagine how much oil it took to make that piece of food so absurdly convenient. “I don’t see products anymore,” he says. “I see oil.” Studying his own house, Hults thought, “What if oil goes away? Do I have backup systems?” He is now in the process of installing a solar hot-water heater, a gas fireplace, and a wood stove. He has started to grow vegetables.

“Convert”? - Nope

“General Unease”? - Nope (try math and logic)

So I shouldn’t worry because I currently have a job? - Sorry, no can do!

“Immersed himself in Martensonia” now THAT’S funny!!!

Sees oil when I look at a rotisserie chicken? - You’re darn right!!

Solar hot water? - installed and lovin’ it!

Gas fireplace, wood stove, and garden? - On the list!

Besides making us look like non-thinking worshipping followers, if it gets more people to the site, it was a good thing. As Chris has pointed out, people will go to the opposite end of the spectrum to avoid ANY changes, no matter how small. As soon as I talk to anyone about our unsustainable lifestyles, the first reaction is usually "what am I supposed to do? move to Montana, buy a cabin, and stock it with guns, beans, (or whatever).

Even after the recent  water pipe break in Boston, and the more recent water contamination on the Cape in Falmouth, it’s almost impossible to get people to even invest in a Berkey water purifier.

For her to be right in her non-preparedness, we have to be wrong by getting prepared. If they think I’m a kook, they’ll have to get in line behind friends, family and co-workers who have been thinking that for months.